Now that we’ve had a few minutes to let the shock of Chip Kelly leaving Oregon for the Philadelphia Eagles wear off, it’s time to figure out what it means for fantasy owners looking ahead to 2013.
The short answer…it looks like all systems go for LeSean McCoy.
The multi-talented running back always seemed underutilized while playing for Andy Reid. In 2012, McCoy averaged fewer than 17 carries per game despite being Philly’s most consistent offensive weapon. Few would expect that to be a problem in Kelly’s up-tempo, run-first offense. Last season, Oregon ran the football nearly twice as often as they threw it — something that was easily overlooked when considering the number of big plays and quick scores the Ducks ran up on their opponents.
However, Kelly could have some tough decisions to make for those times when he does have to throw the football. Michael Vick once looked like a longshot to remain in Philadelphia, but he is more suited to run Kelly’s offense than is Nick Foles. But because of Vick’s spotty health and turnover issues, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Eagles target a player like Kansas State’s Collin Klein.
Kelly’s hire doesn’t seem to bode well for Philly’s wide receiver corps. Because Oregon was a run-heavy offense, Ducks receivers rarely stood out. In fact, Kelly frequently used screens and dump-offs like long handoffs and two of the team’s top four pass-catchers in 2012 were running backs. That’s more good news for McCoy, bad news for Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson. But it’s not all bad for the guys who catch throws — Kelly has never been afraid to get his tight ends involved, giving Brent Celek a little more upside.
Still, there are plenty of things that need to come together with this squad, which should make training camp and the preseason very interesting for this group. Nonetheless, it looks like McCoy has a real opportunity to regain his status as a top five fantasy running back in 2013.
– Marcas Grant
Follow Marcas on Twitter @MarcasG